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Class of 2023 for Xenia Athletics Hall of Fame unveiled


XENIA — The Xenia Athletic Hall of Fame will induct its 2023 class on Dec. 16 with 14 individuals and one team making up the inductees.

The Class of 2023 consists of 10 athletes, two coaches and two community contributors. Steve Ault, Dr. Erin Blevins Dill, Tara Kriss Forman, Bevan Garwood, Bob Hagler, Daniel Michalski, Dr. James Miller, Dr. Mike Newsom, Ben Person, and Brian Stephan are the athlete selections. Kent Anderson and Dave Whilding will enter for their coaching work, and Tony McIlvaine and Pete Stephan were selected for their community involvement.

A historic wrestling team from 1983-84 for the Buccaneers also will be inducted.

All inductees will be recognized on Dec. 15 prior to the start of the Buccaneers’ boys basketball game against Greenville at Phil Anderson Gymnasium. The game is currently scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.

The class will officially receive their plaques during a formal event at the Xenia Adult Recreation and Services Center at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 16. The public is invited and welcome to attend both events. It will be the 12th annual ceremony.

The Xenia Athletic Hall of Fame was established in 2010 in order to honor the greatest athletes, coaches, community contributors, and teams from the rich traditions of Xenia East High School, Xenia Central High School, Spring Valley High School, and Xenia High School, per its website.

For more information on the XAHOF and attending the induction ceremony, contact Gregg Cross at 937-477-2255 or visit xeniaathletichalloffame.com.

Kent Anderson

Boys and Girls Basketball Coach, Girls Golf — Xenia Schools 2003-21

Coached over 1,500 games in nine different sports and finished with the third most varsity basketball wins in Xenia history. Won four conference titles in boys and girls basketball along with two girls golf titles that was highlighted by the 13-0 team in 2020. An eight-time Conference or District Coach of the Year, he was the 2009 Southwest Ohio Coach of the Year for girls basketball. As an XHS athlete, he was named First Team All-Western Ohio League for golf in 1979 as well as First Team All-WOL for baseball in 1980 while setting a record with 42 hits . He was also 1980 Miami Valley Coaches Association All-Star.

Steve Ault

Football — XHS 1970

Co-Captain on the previously inducted 1969 Hall of Fame team, Ault was a two-year starter at outside linebacker. As the Defensive MVP in ‘69, he was named as First Team All-WOL Defense, the Southwest District Defensive Player of the Year, and Associated Press First Team All-Ohio. Ault received a football scholarship to the University of Kentucky. He has served the Xenia community as President of the Wee Bucs youth football and cheerleading athletic association and as a member of the Xenia Recreation Board.

Dr. Erin Blevins Dill

Soccer, Swimming — XHS 2001

A four-time First Team All-WOL, three-time First Team All-Area soccer player and team MVP at XHS. Dill also served as XHS Student Council President. During her time at Coker College in South Carolina, she was twice named First Team All-Carolina Virginia Athletic Conference in soccer and Third Team All-CVAC in cross country. As team leader in points, she won CVAC Freshman of the Year in 2001. Dill earned a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Cincinnati in 2011.

Tara Kriss Forman

Swimming — XHS 1997

Forman was a four-time MVP as well as four-time WOL Champion in the 100 Butterfly. She was a three-time OHSAA State qualifier and two-time placer in the same event. Forman held school records in the 100 and 200 Butterfly, 200 and 500 Freestyle, and 200 and 400 Individual Medley. With the Dayton Raiders Swim Club National Team, she ranked nationally in the 200 Butterfly. Forman excelled at the University of Cincinnati as a member of the four-time Conference USA Champions, where she was the recipient of the 2001 Bearcat Award for swimming and classroom excellence.

Bevan Garwood

Football — XHS 1965

The “Shark” middle linebacker on the 1964 Xenia Athletic Hall of Fame defense that had six shutouts and only gave up 4.3 points per game. He was First Team All-WOL and Co-MVP on the 1964 WOL Champions, as well as being named First Team All-State and being selected as an All-American Honorable Mention. Garwood played football at Ashland College. He became a teacher and retired from Beavercreek High School where he coached football, gymnastics, and tennis, as well as serving as Athletic Director at BHS for 16 years. He became the first AD in the WOL to achieve Certified Athletic Administrator status and was inducted into the Beavercreek Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012.

Bob Hagler

Football, Basketball, Baseball — XHS 1958

Earned nine Varsity letters and was a starter all three years in all three sports. Hagler was All-MVL twice in football and All-MVL in basketball. He was named Co-Captain in football as well as Co-Captain on the 1957-58 MVL Basketball Champions where he earned MVP honors. The became a recipient of the prestigious Rocky Thomas Award. Hagler would earned two Varsity football letters at Denison University. At XHS, he was his class vice president for three years and XHS Student Council President as a senior. Hagler served for 40 years as a Greene County Probate Judge, in additiona to 20 years as Juvenile Court Judge. He was inducted into Xenia Community Schools’ Foundation Hall of Honor as has been the recipient of the prestigious E.J. Nutter award.

Tony McIlvaine

Community Contributor — 1966-2023

A supporter of XHS sports and multiple other school and community activities for over 55 years. He has announced swim meets for 45 years. McIlvaine received the Chairman of the Year Award and Presidential Award of Honor from the Xenia Jaycees, as well as having served on the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce. He is a past President of Xenia Rotary and the YMCA, has received the prestigious F.M. Torrence Award in 1984 from the Chamber of Commerce, and was the recipient of the Outstanding Senior Award in Greene County in 2018. Upon graduation from Muskingum College in 1963, McIlvaine served with the National Guard until 1969.

Daniel Michalski

Track, Cross Country, Baseball, Basketball — XHS 2014

Michalski earned Varsity letters in four different sports at XHS. He set school records in the 1600m, 3200m, and 5000m. During his time at Cedarville University, he set records in the 4×800 and Distance Medley Relays, the mile run and 3000m Steeplechase. He was named All-Great Midwest Athletic Conference 12 times and became a four-time NCAA Division II All-American while becoming the National Champion in the 3000m Steeplechase in 2017. Michalski set school records at Indiana University in the DMR and 3000m Steeplechase. He earned All-Big Ten honors twice and became a NCAA D-I All-American. Professionally he is now a four-time USATF finalist in the 3000m Steeplechase and ran to a fourth place finish at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials while being named Team NIKE for 2021-22. He also became a part of the U.S. Air Force World Class Athlete program in 2023 and participated on Team USA at the Pan American Games.

Dr. James Miller

Basketball — XHS 1966

The top rebounder and Most Improved Player on the 1965 WOL Championship team. As a member of the 1966 WOL Championship team, he was selected as the MVP while earning First Team All-WOL honors. Miller received All-State Honorable Mention recognition as well. He was the fifth leading scorer in Greene County with 18.2 points per game. Miller received a basketball scholarship to the University of Toledo He later earned his medical degree in pediatrics from The Ohio State University Medical School. Miller retired as a Colonel from the U.S. Army and became the Chief of Radiology during his service to our country.

Dr. Mike Newsom

Football, Basketball, Baseball — XHS 1986

Earned eight Varsity letters and played on a WOL Championship team in each of his varsity sports. He was the MVP on 1985-86 WOL Basketball Champions and a Second Team All-WOL pick. He was also All-WOL Honorable Mention in football. Newsom is a recipient of the prestigious XHS Rocky Thomas Scholarship. He went on to be a three-year starter and letter winner as a wide receiver at Wittenberg University from 1986-89. Newsom is a recipient of numerous awards and has been recognized for his civic duties and engagement throughout Montgomery County. He received his doctorate from the University of Dayton.

Ben Person

Football, Basketball — XHS 2004

A three-year football starter on two GWOC Championship teams, he is a former team MVP and two-time All-GWOC and All-Southwest Ohio player. Person was selected to play in the Big 33 Ohio-Pennsylvania All-Star Game as well as the Ohio North-South All-Star game. He went on to become a four-year letterman and two-year starter at The Ohio State University while earning four Big Ten Championship rings and five sets of the famed “gold pants” for beating Michigan. Person played in four BCS bowl games including two National Championship games. He received his MBA in Leadership and Corporate Strategy.

Brian Stephan

Football, Tennis, Swimming — XHS 1996

Awarded 11 Varsity letters during his time at XHS. He was twice named as WOL Lineman of the Year in 1994 and 1995 and received All-State Honorable Mention recognition. Stephan was selected to represent Ohio in the Big 33 game in addition to the South team for the annual North-South All-Star game. He received a football scholarship to Michigan State University. His high academic standards earned him membership into the National Society of Collegiate Scholars as well as on the Dean’s List at MSU. Stephan is a past President of the Xenia Chamber of Commerce and the Xenia Rotary Club.

Pete Stephan

Community Contributor — XHS 1967

The President of the XHS Class of 1967. He was inducted into Xenia Community Schools’ Hall of Honor in 2007. Stephan held presidential offices in the Xenia Chamber of Commerce, XCS Endowment Fund, Greene County Bar Association, and Xenia Rotary Club. He is a recipient of the prestigious Chamber of Commerce F.M. Torrence Award. As Trustee of the Doug Adams Trust, he has helped contribute over $1.5 million to XCS for athletic purposes. Stephan earned a four-year ROTC Scholarship to Capital University and was an Air Force active duty member from 1974-78.

Dave Whilding

Special Recognition Coach — XHS 1967

Whilding coached football for 35 years at the University of Dayton with 29 as offensive coordinator. He was the first assistant coach in UD history to be inducted into the UD Athletic Hall of Fame, occuring in 2018. As a member of the UD staff, was part of teams that won four FCS and D-III National Championships as well 11 Pioneer League Championships. His offenses were part of a record streak of number of consecutive games for never being shut out, which became the longest in NCAA history at any level. He had numerous quarterbacks set passing records and earn national recognition honors. Whilding lettered in football and baseball at XHS and was MVP and Co-Captain at Earlham College as a senior.

Xenia High School 1983-184 Wrestling Team

Won the WOL Championship as well as becoming Xenia Invitational Champions and taking the prestigious GMVWWA Holiday Tournament title. Had record setting championship performances in the District tournament as well as the Southwest Regional tournament to which 12 individuals advanced. Six wrestlers went on to advance to the State Championships. Skip Smith finished third in the 119lb weight class and Rodney Stewart finished fourth in the Unlimited weight class as the team’s two state placers. Eventual two-time State Champion Monty Dagley was inducted into the initial Xenia Athletics’ Hall of Fame Class of 2011 as well as with his teammates Kenny Smith, Chris Caskey, and Deat LaCour being inducted with the 1985-86 OHSAA State Runner-up team in the Class of 2017. Coach Steve Harris was inducted with the Class of 2015.

Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on X (formerly Twitter) @Steven_Wright_.

All bios provided by Gregg Cross.